Friday, August 12, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes

Friday Notes

John Lackey has given up just three runs in 13 innings against the Mariners this season, but the Mariners do have a couple good numbers against him from their regulars. Ichiro is a .306 hitter in 98 at-bats while Chone Figgins is 5-for-11. Franklin Gutierrez is 2-for-18 while Miguel Olivo is only 4-for-26.

David Price has been lit up by the Yankees this season, surrendering 11 runs in 17.1 innings pitched. That's good for a 5.71 ERA and 1.44 WHIP. Price has given up at least four earned runs in four of his last seven outings. Jason Collette noted on Twitter the other day that Price continues to rely more on his fastball over the second half of the season. The bulk of the team has hit him poorly, but both Jeter and Swisher are good to go.

On the other end of the spectrum, C.C. Sabathia has given up just two earned runs in 17 innings against the Rays. Still some good numbers for Tampa. Both Kelly Shoppach and Ben Zobrist check in at .273 while B.J. Upton is a .297 hitter. Evan Longoria is 8-for-24 with three home runs.

Livan Hernandez has been killed on the road this season, posting a 5.69 ERA and 1.72 away from his home park. He has given up nine runs on 25 hits to the Phillies over 19.1 innings against them in 2011. Only Ryan Howard at .242 (but with four home runs in 33 at-bats) and Jimmy Rollins at .222 in 72 at-bats have struggled against Hernandez.

Random stat that should amuse all fantasy owners: Carl Pavano has held Asdrubal Cabrera hitless in 19 at-bats lifetime. The Indians have activated Shin-Soo Choo and he is a .400 hitter against Pavano. Michael Brantley has solid numbers, posting a .333 mark in 21 at-bats.

Cole Hamels is 6-1 in his last 10 starts against Washington. Add in a 2.54 ERA over that stretch and you have a solid matchup for the lefty. Hamels has a 2.29 ERA at home this season and has allowed two or fewer earned runs in his last five starts in Philadelphia. Ryan Zimmerman's .275 mark in 51 at-bats is the best available for Washington.

Avoid Prince Fielder tonight. The Brewers first baseman is hitting .089 with just four hits in 45 at-bats against Paul Maholm. Both Ryan Braun and Corey Hart are good to go here. Not much else to like about the Brewers otherwise here.

Only Josh Willingham has decent numbers against C.J. Wilson. Willingham is 5-for-10 and is the only Oakland player cracking .300 with at least 10 at-bats against Wilson. Kurt Suzuki is 1-for-14 while David DeJesus is only 2-for-15. It gets no better. Avoid your A's here.

Brandon McCarthy could make the duel with Texas interesting. McCarthy has a 1.14 WHIP and 2.39 ERA at home this season. Add to it, McCarthy has given up just four earned runs over his last four starts covering 22 innings of work.

Spot Starts: Minor, Maholm, Lohse

Monday, August 8, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Monday News and Notes

Monday Notes

Doubt we will see Jim Thome against Tim least not in a successful fashion. Thome is 10-for-58 against the knuckleballer lifetime. The numbers are no better for Jason Kubel or Delmon Young. Joe Mauer should be ok as is Denard Span. Wakefield is taking his third shot at win number 200. Hopefully, Francona pulls him after six innings this time...

John Danks was hit hard by the Yankees, but has still allowed two or fewer runs in six of his last seven starts. That and the Orioles are far from the Yankees. Adam Jones has been on a tear, but he is only 1-for-18 against Danks. Matt Wieters is 1-for-12 while Vlad Guerrero is 4-for-24. Markakis and Hardy are fine for this one.

Only Alex Rios hits better than .300 with at least 10 at-bats against Jeremy Guthrie. Juan Pierre though is still 4-for-9 in his efforts. Omar Vizquel likely stays on the bench at 1-for-12 and Alexei Ramirez is only 1-for-16. Both Carlos Quentin and Gordon Beckham have hit .250 against Guthrie in 16 and 12 at-bats respectively.

Hey remember when everyone jumped out of their seat to add Emilio Bonifacio? Guess what? He came back to earth. In fact, he is just three for his last 28 and is only a .118 hitter in 17 at-bats against Derek Lowe. Hanley Ramirez is hitting .538 in 26 at-bats and is by far the best option available against Lowe in this one.

Matt Harrison has been up and down of late, allowing four earned runs in two of his last three outings but less than two earned in four of his last six. Ichiro has struggled, going only 4-for-21 against Harrison. Gutierrez and Figgins have the only other track records and each have four hits in 15 and 14 at-bats respectively.

Scott Baker has a 1.64 ERA over his last five starts covering 27.1 innings pitched. Jacoby Ellsbury and Carl Crawford are  your best bets in this one for Boston. Both are hitting better than .400 against the Minnesota starter. Both Pedroia and Youkilis are below .200.

Wandy Rodriguez has been solid in his last two road starts, giving up just three earned runs over 14 innings. Rodriguez has been up and down this year, but the matchup here should work in his favor. Chris Young is 4-for-11, but his are the only numbers that scream to be started in this one.

I will continue to lobby for Tim Stauffer to be started until proven otherwise incorrect. He has had quality starts in nine of his last 10 outings and now has an ERA of 2.96 for the season. Stauffer continues to fly under the radar but is the spot start of the day given his trends. Yes, this means he will blow up, but it is a chance worth taking.

Matt Garza has allowed two earned runs or less and worked seven full innings in four of his last five starts. While he has just win in those outings, he is showing much more progress and has lowered his ERA by a half a run in this stretch. Cubs are on a roll and so is he. Good matchup for him against the Nationals.

Spot Starts: Stauffer, Harrison, Danks

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Wednesday News and Notes

Wednesday Notes

A.J. Burnett has been decent of late and only Alex Rios has hit better than .300 against him in the past. Paul Konerko is 4-for-15 with two home runs while Adam Dunn is 4-for-16. A.J. Pierzynski should be avoided given his sub-.200 mark in 22 at-bats. Burnett has lost his last three decisions and has only completed the sixth inning once in his last four starts.

Gavin Floud has allowed only two runs in his last 22.1 innings pitched. Nick Swisher, Mark Teixeira, and Andruw Jones are all only 1-for-9 against Floyd and Robinson Cano is just 2-for-16. Curtis Granderson is a .250 hitter in 32 at-bats while Brett Gardner is 4-for-8.

Surprisingly, only Albert Pujols has a decent track record for the Cardinals against Randy Wolf. Pujols is a .323 hitter in 31 at-bats with two home runs. Lance Berkman is 3-for-27, Yadier Molina is 5-for-24, Rafael Furcal is at .211 in 38 at-bats, and Matt Holliday is at .233 in 30 at-bats. Look elsewhere for some offense.

Ichiro has hit .346 against Gio Gonzalez and has the best numbers available to fantasy owners. Look to avoid the 2-for-12 of Franklin Gutierrez. Chone Figgins has struggled as well with a 5-for-20 mark. Gonzalez has lost three of his last four starts and in his last two starts he has surrendered 10 runs in 10 innings.

Aaron Hill has had rough season, but he has hit .273 in 33 at-bats against James Shields and has added four home runs as well. Adam Lind has been solid as well with five home runs and a .306 average in 36 at-bats against Shields. Keep your Blue Jays active in this one as there are no red flags in players that you would be looking to start.

Charlie Morton has decidedly come back to earth. In his last 10 starts, his ERA has risen by a run and a half. He has allowed nine earned runs in his last 9.1 innings in his last two starts. While he has held righties down, lefties simply have hammered him to the tune of .380.

I wrote about this for yesterday and it is just as true here. I do not understand why people are abandoning Tim Stauffer at this point. He has allowed more than three earned runs exactly once in his last 10 outings. In all nine of those starts he completed at least six innings. While just 3-4 at home, he has a 2.88 ERA. Sure Stauffer has struggled with wins because of San Diego's lineup, but he has pitched well.

It might take Tim Wakefield to cool off Asdrubal Cabrera. Wakefield has held him to a 1-for-9 mark. Travis Hafner is worse with a 1-for-12 mark. Wakefield has been up and down, but largely you could blame some of the in-game management. He gave up seven runs against Seattle, but the bulk in the seventh inning when he shouldn't have been in there. Generally, six innings is his limit.

Only once in his last 10 appearances has Brandon Beachy allowed more than three earned runs. In his last two starts, he has allowed one earned run in 13.1 innings of work. Beachy's ERA has moved up and down some, but it is overall BETTER than it was on April 30th. Beachy is only available in 10 percent of leagues, but he should be owned across all leagues.

Spot Starts: Floyd, Stauffer, Wolf

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Tuesday News and Notes

Tuesday Notes

John Danks is pitching this season nearly exactly in line with his career numbers - no better and no worse. Curtis Granderson has struggled to a 1-for-23 mark against Danks. Robinson Cano is 5-for-10 and Mark Teixeira is 5-for-9. Nick Swisher is not bad either at 4-for-10.

UGLY numbers from the Nationals against Derek Lowe. Only Ryan Zimmerman is hitting better than .300 against Lowe. Jayson Werth is at .250 in 28 at-bats, Ian Desmond is the same in 20 at-bats. Adam LaRoche is 2-for-19 while Michael Morse is 2-for-15. For the season, the Nationals are hitting just .190 against the Atlanta starter.

Ryan Ludwick again has good numbers against a Cubs starter. He is 4-for-9 with two home runs against Randy Wells. Andrew McCutchen is 7-for-13, so you will certainly want to continue to keep him in the lineup. Wells has allowed at least four earned runs in six of his last seven starts. Avoid him at all costs in this one.

You will certainly want to start your Braves against John Lannan. Your regulars have simply raked against the Washington starter. Chipper Jones, Dan Uggla, Martin Prado, and Alex Gonzalez are all hitting better than .300 against him. Lannan has not been able to complete six innings in three of his last four starts, but he has been moderately effective through keeping opponents to three or fewer runs in nine of his last 10 starts overall.

B.J. Upton is just 3-for-17 against Ricky Romero, but he is the only true trouble spot for the Rays against him. Evan Longoria is hitting .364 in 11 at-bats while Ben Zobrist is at .389 in 18. Johnny Damon is the big winner with his 7-for-13 mark. Despite an overall rough July, Romero has posted a 3.05 ERA in his three starts since the break to go with a .203 BAA.

Jose Bautista has owned David Price. Bautista is 8-for-19 with three home runs against the lefty. Unfortunately for Toronto, no one else comes close to that production. In fact, the rest of the team is a combined .186 against him. Only the 4-for-14 of (wait for it) Mike McCoy comes close to being worthy of starting.

Wandy Rodriguez is likely a continuing audition for another team with each start. He has given up just three runs in 14 innings over his last two outings. Joey Votto has the best numbers you will see at .353 in 34 at-bats. Ramon Hernandez has good numbers as well, but avoid the rest of your Reds where possible. Jay Bruce is a disaster at 1-for-23 and it does not get much better from there.

Felix Hernandez is already 2-0 this season with a 1.09 ERA against Oakland. In 24.2 innings of work, the A's have registered just three runs on 13 hits and three walks, good for a .159 average. Only the .323 of David DeJesus and .333 of Kurt Suzuki should be in your lineup for this one. Hernandez has simply been too dominant against them.

Only Justin Upton at .290 in 31 at-bats cracks the .220 mark against Tim Lincecum. The Diamondbacks have out-and-out ugly numbers against the San Francisco ace. Add in the fact that Lincecum has allowed one earned run or less in six of his last seven starts and you have a recipe for disaster. Keep your Diamondbacks on the bench for this one.

Spot Starts: Correia, Danks, Hand

Monday, August 1, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Monday News and Notes

Monday Notes

Only three White Sox hit .300 or better against C.C. Sabathia. Look to start Juan Pierre, Gordon Beckham (5-for-14), and Alexei Ramirez (.421 in 19 at-bats). Otherwise, there is little to write home about. In addition to being slowed by injury, Paul Konerko has hit only .224 in 76 at-bats. Carlos Quentin, A.J. Pierzynski, and Adam Dunn all hit below .200 against Sabathia.

Paul Maholm has dominated the Cubs this season, giving up just one run on 12 hits in 23.1 innings against them in 2011. Starlin Castro is still worth starting given his .333 mark and Reed Johnson needs to be in NL-only lineups. He is 8-for-13 against him lifetime!! Otherwise, nothing to drastically avoid, but the Cubs have had no success this year against him to breed any confidence.

Newly-acquired Ryan Ludwick should be thrilled to get to Pittsburgh to face Carlos Zambrano. Ludwick is 9-for-22 (.409) against him. Andrew McCutchen is 5-for-9 while Garrett Jones is 5-for-12. Look to avoid the rest of what you might otherwise start against the Chicago pitcher.

Bud Norris has been roughed up in his last three starts at home. Despite posting a 2.93 ERA in Houston for the entire season, Norris has allowed 11 runs in his last 16.2 innings pitched in his own park. Norris will continue to provide owners strikeouts, but he has been in a rough patch lately and should be benched here. Not to mention a blister issue caused him to be pulled from his last start.

Xavier Nady and Justin Upton should be good to go in this one even against Matt Cain. Both are hitting well above .300 against the San Francisco starter. Kelly Johnson, Miguel Montero, and Chris Young all have at least 20 at-bats against Cain and all three are hitting below .200 against him. Avoid them where you have other options.

Prince Fielder and Corey Hart are your only Brewers hitting at or above .300 against Chris Carpenter. Otherwise, the news is not that good. Jerry Hairston is at .214, Ryan Braun is just 3-for-15, and Casey McGehee is at just .250. Felipe Lopez, surprisingly, is a .292 hitter with two home runs in 24 at-bats against the St. Louis pitcher.

Javier Vazquez has allowed three earned runs or less in seven of his last eight starts. In five of those seven starts, he went at least six innings. While David Wright is a .308 hitter in 13 at-bats against Vazquez, the rest of the New York lineup has had their problems in this one. Look to avoid your Mets where you can here as even Jose Reyes is 4-for-21.

Martin Prado and Chipper Jones should lead the way against Livan Hernandez. Prado is hitting .414 in 29 at-bats against the righty while Jones is at .356 in 73 trips to the plate. McLouth, Hinske, Gonzalez, and Uggla are all hitting south of .215 against Hernandez. Jason Heyward checks in at .286 with two home runs in 14 at-bats. Hernandez has a 3.42 ERA and 1.17 WHIP at home this year.

Jair Jurrjens was lit up by the Nationals in his one outing against them this season. He gave up six runs on eight hits in only five innings. Though there are limited numbers against him for the most part, Ryan Zimmerman is 10-for-27 while Jayson Werth goes the other direction at .190 in 21 at-bats.

Spot Starts: Maholm, Hernandez, Vazquez

Friday, July 29, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes

Friday Notes

Tim Wakefield has seen plenty of the White Sox. Alex Rios has hit just .216 in 51 at-bats against Wakefield while Alexei Ramirez is 2-for-12. A.J. Pierzynski, Carlos Quentin, and Omar Vizquel are all hitting better than .300 against the knuckleballer with Quentin hitting better than .400 against him.

Look to avoid Mark Teixeira against Jeremy Guthrie tonight, as he is only 1-for-18 against the Baltimore starter. Nick Swisher is the bat to have with a .481 mark and three home runs in 27 at-bats. Brett Gardner has limited at-bats but is 5-for-9 against Guthrie. Curtis Granderson is the only other regular hitting better than .300 against Guthrie.

Might want to bench Matt Wieters and his 2-for-19 mark against A.J. Burnett. The bulk of the Orioles you would start have struggled, but look to the 5-for-10 of J.J. Hardy if you need some help on offense tonight. Burnett is 0-2 in four starts this month with a 4.94 ERA in those outings. Be careful in throwing him out there even against Baltimore.

Charlie Morton's ERA has risen by a full run since May 24th, not something to be proud of in the least. His WHIP away from home this season is 1.45, showing a much higher than average strand rate given that his ERA outside of Pittsburgh is still just 3.00. He has stymied the Phillies once before this season, but against Halladay this is a tough matchup.

The Astros have had no luck against Randy Wolf this season. Look to avoid most of them here. Hunter Pence is just 5-for-24 while Carlos Lee is 5-for-29 and Michael Bourn 1-for-13. Clint Barmes is only 2-for-17 himself. Wolf has given up just two runs on eight hits in 17 innings against the Astros so far this season. Does not look good for Houston here.

Those that have seen Matt Garza on the Cardinals have not enjoyed facing him. Matt Holliday is just 2-for-11 while Lance Berkman is 2-for-15. Best bat available for them is Corey Patterson and his 6-for-10 mark. While he has not recorded a decision in his last three starts, he has given up only three runs in that stretch over 21 innings.

Justin Upton is just 2-for-16 against Ted Lilly but his are the only majo numbers to avoid. Kelly Johnson is hitting .353 in 17 at-bats while Chris Young is at .300 in 20. Lilly has been getting hammered of late. In six of his last seven starts he has given up three or more earned runs. He has not completed seven innings in any of those outings.

NL-only owners may like what they could get from some of the Padres against Jason Hammel. Nick Hundley is 7-for-14 while Chase Headley is at .286 in 21 at-bats. Aaron Cunningham is 5-for-8 and may get a start tonight while Everth Cabrera is 5-for-18. Look to avoid Will Venable and his 1-for-15 mark in this one.

Gavin Floyd has given up just one run in his last 15.1 innings pitched over his last two starts. Marco Scutaro is 7-for-12 against Floyd, by far the best numbers the Red Sox have against Floyd. David Ortiz is hitting .350 in 20 at-bats as well. Nothing else to write home about, but only worth avoiding is the 2-for-11 of Kevin Youkilis and the 3-for-15 of Jacoby Ellsbury.

Spot Starts: Stauffer, Collmenter, Bedard

Friday, July 22, 2011

Fantasy Baseball: Friday News and Notes

Friday Notes

Surprisingly good numbers, overall, for John Lackey against the Mariners. He has held Ichiro to a .298 mark in 98 career at-bats. Jack Cust and Chone Figgins are both good to go. Cust has three home runs to go with a .323 average in 31 at-bats against Lackey while Figgins is 5-for-11. Olivo, Gutierrez, and Kennedy should be kept on the bench for this one.

Carlos Lee rakes against Carlos Zambrano, posting five home runs and a .369 average in 65 at-bats against him. Hunter Pence has had more problems than not, hitting only .219 in 32 at-bats against the Chicago starter. Michael Bourn is likely the only other Astros starter on your radar, and he has hit .273 when Zambrano is on the mound.

Bud Norris on the road is a bad idea. His 4.83 ERA and 1.37 WHIP in 41 road innings. His strikeout numbers are almost as good, with 40 in those 41 innings pitched. Norris has a 4.82 ERA this month and 1.50 WHIP in three starts.

Matt Holliday, Yadier Molina, and Lance Berkman have all had their issues when facing Paul Maholm. Holliday and Berkman are both below .200, though Holliday has two home runs in his three hits against Maholm for his career. Molina not much better, as he hits just .208. Albert Pujols might be in good shape. A .576 average in 33 at-bats would do that for a guy.

Gavin Floyd has been much better on the road than he has at home of late. Floyd has a 1.17 WHIP and 3.36 ERA away from home, giving up three or fewer earned runs in four of his last six starts. Travis Hafner is just 1-for-11 against Floyd but his are the only major numbers to avoid here. Floyd is 5-2 in his last eight starts against the Indians.

David Wright is expected back in the lineup tonight against the Marlins and he is 4-for-11 against Chris Volstad. The Florida starter has pitched relatively well against the Mets in his last five starts. He has a 3.18 ERA in those 28.1 innings to go with 19 strikeouts.

Possible that we see Luke Scott back tonight for the Orioles. Should Baltimore activate him, he is 6-for-15 against Ervin Santana, some of the best numbers that the Orioles have against the Angels starter. Nick Markakis and Adam Jones are good to go. Markakis is hitting .370 with three home runs in 27 at-bats while Jones is 4-for-11.

Avoid Boston catchers tonight against Felix Hernandez. Varitek and Saltalamachhia have combined to go just 5-for-31. Jacoby Ellsbury is red hot, but note that he is just 2-for-14 when facing Hernandez. Adrian Gonzalez and J.D. Drew are the only regulars above .300 and Carl Crawford is hitting .296. Start your other Red Sox as your normally would for this one.

Only Michael Cuddyer and Denard Span have 10 or more at-bats against Max Scherzer. Cuddyer has hit .300 while Span is at .231 in 13 at-bats. Jim Thome is 4-for-8 while Delmon Young is 3-for-8. Scherzer has been lights out in three of his last four and has allowed just three earned runs in his last two starts, which covers 14.2 innings of work.

Spot Starts: Volstad, Luebke, Duensing